This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #126: All Shook Up by Elvis Presley.
Of all of the songs in this countdown, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley is one of the most straight-forward as far as the story behind the song goes. But, there is some amazing Elvis-related trivia associated with this song so, here goes for both!
“All Shook Up” was written by a man named Otis Blackwell. Mr. Blackwell also wrote the lyrics to “Don’t Be Cruel”. Apparently, “All Shook Up” was written by Blackwell on a bet or a dare from his boss. The bet was that he couldn’t make a song out of his boss’ act of shaking up a can of Pepsi Cola. One day later, Blackwell had penned the words to a song about that emotional feeling of complete happiness that one feels upon falling in love. As was the case, back in the mid-1950s, if you wanted your song to be sung by someone of Elvis’ pedigree, you had to pay for that privilege so, Blackwell had to agree to sign away fifty percent of his songwriting royalties to Elvis, even though Elvis had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the song. So, the songwriting credits on the single for “All Shook Up” read “Presley/Blackwell” and now you know why.
The lyrics to the song are fairly easy to understand. No hidden nor double meanings there.
“Well, bless my soul!
What’s wrong with me?
I’m itchin’ like a man in a fuzzy tree!
My friends say I’m actin’ wild as a bug!
I’m in love.
I’m all shook up.”
One of the real things that Elvis had going for him was his natural sense of humility, coupled with his natural good looks and charisma. It isn’t just anyone who could sing such lyrics and cause women to swoon. He seemed like someone a girl could fall in love with and be treated like gold for the rest of her life.
In any case, “All Shook Up” was a big hit for Elvis, going all the way to #1, where it stayed for eight consecutive weeks. It ended up being named the Song of the Year in 1957. That honour capped off an amazing two consecutive years for Elvis. In 1956, the “Presley/Blackwell” song, “Don’t Be Cruel” was named the Song of the Year, as well. This made Elvis the only performer to have two different songs proclaimed as the Song of the Year in consecutive years. Not only that, in both 1956 and 1957, Elvis had streaks of 25-consecutive weeks each, with having a song in the #1 position. In 1956 his consecutive weeks streak included songs such as, “Heartbreak Hotel” (8 weeks), “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” (1 week), “Don’t Be Cruel”/”Hound Dog” *(Double A-sided singles that held #1 for 11 consecutive weeks) and “Love Me Tender” (5 weeks). In 1957, his streak of 25-consecutive weeks included hits such as, “Too Much” (3 weeks), “Teddy Bear” (7 weeks), “Al Shook Up” (8 weeks) and “Jailhouse Rock” (7 more weeks).
As I have said before, he is called “The King of Rock n’ Roll” for a reason. So, without further delay, here is the Song of the Year from 1957, “All Shook Up” by The King, himself, Mr. Elvis Presley. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Elvis Presley, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.